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Biology - Fall 2014

BIOLOGY 104N - Biology in a Changing World
(4 semester hours)
Burgett, Amber

Our planet is currently experiencing a global biodiversity crisis; extinction rates at present are at least 100 times that of any natural extinction event to have ever occurred in our history. Humans are a driving force in the loss of earth’s species and the degradation of ecosystems. Undoubtedly, biological interactions and critical processes may be dramatically altered in our rapidly changing world. This biology course for non-majors will explore patterns that have historically impacted global biodiversity, how human induced alterations such as climate change and habitat loss are threatening the biodiversity of species, the implications of a widespread loss in biodiversity for humans, and the ability of current or future conservation practices to shape our fate. The course will draw heavily from empirical research and case studies to highlight the predicament of unfortunate species which are currently facing a very uncertain future.

 

BIOLOGY 104N –Life In The Cold
(4 semester hours)

Open to all students
Cryobiology is the study of life at low temperatures. This biology course for non-majors will discuss several ways through which cold affects the world around us. Students will learn about low temperature environments, how organisms survive in the cold, and the importance of cold to medicine, world economy, and technology. Class discussions will range from the impact of climate change on cold environments, to the use of cold-resistant genetically modified organisms, to the freezing of humans in hopes of future resuscitation. In this course students will learn about basic chemical and biological principles, the scientific method, and the importance of science to society in the context of cryobiology.

 

BIOLOGY 104N – Organic Evolution
(4 semester hours)
Phillips, Richard

Open to all students
Scholars often refer to Darwin’s ideas on evolution as one of humankind’s greatest intellectual achievements.  In this course, we will examine Darwin’s ideas on evolution through his own work and follow his reading with a text presenting our modern understanding of the process.  Evolution, as we currently understand it, is an unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies, and changing environments.  The concept of organic evolution has affected almost all other fields of knowledge and is considered one of the most influential concepts in Western thought.  We will focus on the biological aspects of evolution and its influence on physiology, morphology, ecology, and the classification of organisms.  

 

BIOLOGY 104N – Plants, People and the Environment
(4 semester hours)
Ison, Jennifer

This is a non-majors course that explores the relationship between plants and people.  Topics covered include the uses of plants for food production, raw materials, and bioenergy, as well as the environmental impacts of these uses.  The course will also examine the effects of human activities on plants and how best to conserve native plant populations.

BIOLOGY 114N – From Conception to Birth
(4 credits)
McWhorter, Michelle

Open to all students
During this course, we will discuss the major concepts in human embryology and development.  There will also be significant discussion of the ethical and moral issues surrounding the human embryo, such as stem cells and cloning.  While there is no laboratory component to this course, you will be required to participate in a panel discussion and submit a written paper on the ethics discussion panel.

 

BIOLOGY 131B - Trees and Shrubs of the Urban and Natural Environments (Woody Plants)
(4 semester hours)   
deLanglade, Ron

Open to all students
Will meet R-8 and lab experience for general education requirements or may be counted in Biology major/minor requirements as a botany course.

This course is to acquaint the student with the various native and cultivated forms of woody trees, shrubs, and vines as found in natural and urban environments. Topics covered include basic classification, naming, use of taxonomic keys, life histories, basic growth patterns, culture and care. Field trips to local sites will be taken. Open to all students but counts toward a major in biology only with department approval.  A student cannot receive credit for both 131 and 230.

 

BIOLOGY 170 - Concepts of Biology: Biological Information, Reproduction, and Evolution    
(5 semester hours)         
Collier, Matthew
Yoder, Jay

Open to all students planning to major in biology
This course and Biology 180, required for the biology major, provide an overview of the primary concepts in biology and are prerequisites for upper level biology courses.  Students may take Biology 170B and Biology 180B in either order.  The major themes of this course are information flow from DNA to protein, animal reproduction, and evolution.  Students must also enroll in an accompanying lab section (BIOL 171).  The laboratory portion of the course will provide students with hands-on activities designed to reinforce lecture content and develop the basic scientific skills that are needed for future courses in the major.  Offered in the fall semester.

 

BIOLOGY 214 – Developmental Biology 
(5 semester hours)
McWhorter, Michelle

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Developmental biology is the study of how single celled zygotes (or fertilized eggs) become multi-cellular organisms with specialized tissues and organs.  This course is designed to provide an overview of the major features of animal development focusing primarily on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie these developmental events.  Lecture topics will include gametogenesis, fertilization, gastrulation, and organogenesis.  Laboratory components will use a range of developmental model organisms to highlight some of the main tenants of developmental biology.  There will be an emphasis on how cells in the developing embryo differentiate into specific cell types, germ layers, tissues, and organs.

 

BIOLOGY 215 – Genetics 
(5 semester hours)
Collier, Matthew

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
This course will examine the scope and significance of modern genetic principles.  Lecture and lab topics will include molecular and Mendelian genetics, protein synthesis, recombinant DNA, genetic engineering, effects of stressors upon genetic systems, human genetics, and population genetics.  Particular attention will be paid to learning how to apply basic genetic principles to biological problems and to developing analytical skills.

 

BIOLOGY 221 – Pharmacology
(4 semester hours)
Pederson, Cathy

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Humans interact with many pharmacological agents on a regular basis.  This course explores the effects of particular medications on a variety of pathological conditions.  The medicines investigated include antidepressants, anesthetics, heart medications, oral contraceptives, fertility drugs, and painkillers.  We also focus on some recreational drugs.  Students will learn a little basic physiology, pathology, and medications that treat those illnesses.

 

BIOLOGY 231 – Vertebrate Zoology
(5 semester hours)
Staff

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
Review of organogenesis and of the general vertebrate body plan followed by a study of comparative aspects of adult structure. Includes an introduction to both the pathways by which the higher vertebrates have evolved and the nomenclature, taxonomy and zoogeography of the vertebrate group.

 

BIOLOGY 230 - Trees and Shrubs of the Urban and Natural Environments (Woody Plants)
(4 semester hours)
deLanglade, Ron

Open to biology majors only
Please see the description of this course listed under Biology 131.   Biology majors and minors who need this course to count toward the major or the minor should register for Biology 230, rather than Biology 131.

 

BIOLOGY 247 – Marine Ecology
(5 semester hours)
Reinsel, Kathleen

Prerequisites:  Biology 170, 180, and a minimum math placement of 22
This course will focus primarily on the ecology of nearshore coastal habitats.  We will cover some basic aspects of the physical environment that organisms encounter in marine systems.  We will explore fisheries biology and management as an example of ecology at the population level.  Students will also learn about the major ecological processes that structure marine communities.  We will focus on a few marine habitats and study the particular animals and plants that live in them, and end with some discussion of human impacts on marine systems.  Throughout the course, we will look at the recent research in marine ecology.  Labs will be based on data and organisms collected during an optional field trip to the Duke Marine Laboratory and may include behavioral studies, collection, identification and enumeration of sediment-dwelling invertebrates, and comparison of species diversity in different habitats.  These exercises will allow students to practice data analysis, graphic presentation of data and writing of scientific papers.

 

BIOLOGY 250 – Conservation Biology
(5 semester hours)
Ison, Jennifer

Conservation biology is focused on the conservation of biological diversity at the population, species, ecosystem, and global levels.  To achieve this, conservation biologists draw on principles from ecology, small population biology, environmental science, and population genetics.  In this course, students will learn key principles from each of these fields and how they are used to assess, protect, and restore threatened populations, species, and communities.  During labs, students will learn field and lab based skills as well as management techniques commonly used by conservation biologists.

 

BIOLOGY 250 – Wildlife Research Techniques
(5 semester hours)
Phillips, Richard

Basic methodology of practical wildlife management involving the routine techniques in data collection related to population maintenance, as well as ways to monitor field research.  This course provides hands on experience in general wildlife techniques commonly utilized by wildlife professionals.  This course address topics such as aging and sexing of game birds and mammals, scientific writing, statistical analysis of wildlife data, capture and marking of vertebrates, GPS, abundance and density estimation techniques, diversity indices, habitat analysis, radio telemetry, home range estimation, survival analysis, necropsy, and wildlife management techniques.  These techniques are important to the practice of wildlife management and research.  This course will not be limited to lectures, but will focus on exposing you to wildlife techniques in hands on field situations.

 

BIOLOGY 255 - Biological Literacy    
(4 semester hours)
Yoder , Jay

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180
A study of common sources, methods, and techniques used in scientific writing and in presenting biological literature.  There will be a strong emphasis on bibliographic sources as well as written and oral presentations of biological material in this writing intensive course.

 

BIOLOGY 258 – Extended Field Studies – Marine Ecology
(1 semester hour)
Reinsel, Kathleen

Prerequisite:  Must take concurrently with Biology 247
A 5-day field trip to the Duke Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, NC.  Students will participate in field trips to marine habitats to collect samples and conduct experiments that will be analyzed at Wittenberg.

 

BIOLOGY 310 - Molecular Biology   
(5 semester hours)                                                                          
Goodman, Margaret

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180 and Chemistry 162, or Biology 312
Molecular Biology will provide an introduction to the molecular biochemistry of cell function, focusing on genetic aspects.  Topics to be discussed include structure of DNA and RNA, transcription, translation, regulation of gene expression, and DNA replication and repair.  This is a writing intensive course, requiring one major paper, one lab report, and in-class essays on lecture exams.  The laboratory portion of the course will focus on techniques used in the molecular biology laboratory, including electrophoresis (both agarose and polyacrylamide), blotting techniques, cloning and PCR.

 

BIOLOGY 316 – Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics
(5 semester hours)
Goodman, Margaret

Prerequisites:  Biology 170B and 180 and Chemistry 162, or Biology 312
This course will focus on the molecular basis of heredity, beginning with an introduction to DNA structure, replication, and transcription, then move to a consideration of the entire genetic makeup of an organism: the genome.  Students will investigate the components of a gene, the arrangement of genes on the chromosome, and the regulation of gene expression.  They will also learn the computational and laboratory methods used in chromosome mapping and genome sequencing.  Emphasis will be placed on sequence comparison as a means to learn more about gene structure and prediction, protein structure and function, and evolutionary relationships between species.   We will take advantage of the extensive data available through on-line databases of the human genome and other gene sequences. 

 

BIOLOGY 325 - Human Anatomy and Physiology  
(5 semester hours)
Pederson, Cathy

Prerequisites:  Biology 170 and 180 and one upper-level biology course
Students will learn about the major systems of the human body in both lecture and laboratory.  Topics to be discussed include the musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems.  Disease states will also be discussed.  Laboratories will focus on the anatomy and physiology of each system as they are discussed in the lecture portion of the course.  Laboratories will include dissection.  Assessment will include 3 written examinations, lab practical examinations, and a final examination. Offered every year.  

 

BIOLOGY 406 - Senior Capstone    
(4 semester hours)
Yoder, Jay

Prerequisite:  Must have senior status
The capstone course uses a topic-driven approach to promote synthesis of biological concepts and emphasize the inter-relatedness of different disciplines within biology. These concepts range from the molecular level through organismal biology to populations and ecosystems. The course will rely heavily on the primary literature with emphasis on the process of scientific discovery. In this course students develop skills in presenting scientific material in both oral and written form. This writing-intensive course is required of all biology majors and is to be taken during the senior year.

 

 

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